The new natural gas rate will generate considerable costs for the budget of the capital city, said mayor of Chisinau Ion Ceban. According to him, the municipality will pay 40% of the heat bill for all the residents with incomes lower than 3,000 lei per family member. During the cold period of the year, the pressure on the budget will be huge and funds from infrastructure projects will have to be redirected so as to enable the people to pay the bills, IPN reports.
The mayor said the central administration owes money to the Chisinau City Hall for the cold period of the year, when the municipality paid the bills of social institutions. The municipality pays for the incompetence of the officials who negotiated a defective contract with Gazprom.
“The funds for maintaining social institutions, schools, kindergartens are not sufficient by far and haven’t been projected based on such a rate. So, the municipality needs to pay the difference. We pay the Government’s bill. This means that this money – hundreds of millions of lei – will not reach infrastructure projects. We hope we will be able to recover at least a part of the costs as it is also the Government’s duty to provide the local public authorities with funds for covering the costs associated with the new gas price, not only the duty of Chisinau and all the mayor’s offices of the country,” Ion Ceban stated in the talk show “Résumé with Ileana Pîrgaru” on RliveTV channel.
The mayor assured that the coming winter the municipality will also pay 40% of the heat bills for families with low incomes.
“All the families whose incomes are lower than 3,000 lei per family member, while in the case of young families - lower than 5,000 lei per member, will benefit from subsidies that will be paid directly to the supplier. Termoelectrica supplies most of the blocks in Chisinau with heat. When the heat bill, from October until April, comes, the municipality covers 40% of the heat bill for the two sections of the population from the municipal budget. This means that several tens of thousands of apartments will benefit from subsidies. The pressure on the budget increased considerably, but we do not have any compensation from the central budget. For instance, the heat bill was earlier 2,000 lei and the mayor’s office paid 40% or 800 lei. Now the municipality’s contribution for a bill of 5,000 lei will be 2,000 lei,” said Ion Ceban.
According to a draft decision presented by the National Agency for Energy Regulation, Moldovagaz’s request to increase the gas rate will be accepted partially and the rate as from August 1 will most probably be 22.26 lei per cubic meter.